Monday, 26 February 2007

strange things live in the woods

Today was a day for exploration.

Behind our house is a piney woods, complete with hills and downed trees and big rocks and all the things kiddles love to clamber about on.

The first thing spotted? A forty-year old beer can. I wish I'd picked it up.

(yes, I know this is a bottle. I've spent way too much time trying to find a picture. Google Image isn't always what's it's cracked up to be.)

Next, rabbit tracks. Since Cass is convinced the Easter Bunny lives in these hills, it wasn't a large leap for him to decide that the can was the Rabbit's.
Of course, if I was in charge of a world-wide egg conglomerate and I had to live in the woods, I'd drink too. (Happy hic! Easter to you too! hic!)

On the way back we saw this:

(you may have to click on this to make it bigger, but seriously? The best rendition I've ever seen of a tree standing on its head.)

So any odd noises I hear back there? We're blaming either the rowdy tree yoga class, or Peter Cottontail, shamefully blitzed again.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

joy in everything

(clearing my throat. Ahem!)


Holy God, this just might work.*

And today we took the kids to see their Papa, who's been in the hospital for almost two weeks (and who scarily we weren't at all sure would still be around now) and it was magical, watching the kids' faces smile and their grandfathers face light up when he heard their boots come clomping in. Rosey and Papa played peek-a-boo through the bedrails. Cass's grin was so big that he wore delight like an accessory, and for a few minutes he wasn't sure what to say. He recovered enough to pepper his grandfather with questions about every.single.piece of medical equipment in the room, including the commode ('What's the wheely chair, Papa?' And from the other side of the room came R's voice, sure of herself.. 'Is Papa's potty.') and all the buttons on the hospital bed. By the time we left Papa was laughing and joking with the kids and Cass looked a lot less strained than he has lately. (Wednesday he broke into sobs at the dinner table, choking out that he was afraid he was never going to see my father-in-law again. Two weeks is a long time for a boy to be sad and scared.)

I made Kim's tomatoes (amazingly good with even the hothouse crap the store had) one of Badger's roasts (and I can't find it exactly and I think she used brisket but you should go read some of her recipes) fresh corn on the cob (it must be summer somewhere, right?) and salad - and Cass ate it all (including the green leafy stuff! Who knew bright orange dressing could make a kid do things like this??) And there weren't ANY leftovers.

So! Happy day! No pee! Papa Lazarus! Yummy food! Good night!

*I go pee now. And off she'd run, shedding pants, underwear and socks as she headed for the bathroom. Because apparently the most satisfying urination takes place in bare feet. Who knew?

Thursday, 22 February 2007

quit hitting the snooze button

A wicked moment:

All I can think is

I want one of these


I wonder if I should let it be a surprise for B?

Wednesday, 21 February 2007


I dug through my pocketbook. Do I have enough for a coffee?

Rosey stirred from the backseat. "Oooh, Mama, money. Please?"

I gave her a quarter. She's like a magpie - so attracted to shiny things. Unlike the birds, though, she doesn't put them in her beak and fly off, she just holds them for awhile. I figured I had about thirty seconds before she dropped it or gave it back.

I asked for it back when we got to Tim's. I got an owl-eyed stare.
"Not mama money. Rosey's money." Well, okay. My bad for giving it to her.

Then there was a clink! and it fell to the floor. She hung in her car seat, looking sadly down at the floor mats. You could see the wheels turning in that head of hers. She grinned at me, batting her eyes a few times.

"Money all gone. More money? Please?"

Somehow I thought I had a few more years before she started hitting me up for loans.

Monday, 19 February 2007

the scarlet j

I was upstairs on the computer when I heard voices.

Bear had company? Okay. I signed off and trotted downstairs, where I pulled up short, espying two serious-and-sober young men with dark coats on. One was carrying a backpack. Both were talking animatedly with Bear about the area. Were these the new neighbors?

I smiled when introduced (promptly forgetting their names) and sat down. Bear was in full flow about the schools in the district. They were smiling and nodding and listening and...watching the kids.

Something began to tick over in my head.
Jess, you've met the new neighbors. They're both British, remember? He said something about a seventeen-year-old-son, but these guys are closer to thirty. Okay. Not the neighbors, then. But who?

And then one of them whipped out a Bible and all was revealed.

Bear was deep in conversation about tax rates and fire departments and it was obvious I was the only one who had any qualms about the situation.
I cleared my throat.
"Excuse me, are y'all preachers?"
They laughed and assured me they were not, just bible students, and they were visiting everyone in the neighborhood.
This didn't make me feel comforted. I pasted on my biggest smile and coughed again.
All eyes swiveled 'round.
"Are you Jehovah's Witnesses? Because....we're not."

There was a small silence. Bear's ears were flushing. (But, damnit, he should have known this was coming.)

One of them said something about bringing God's word into people's homes and how small groups of people blah blah blah and I nodded, agreed (idn't it wonnerful?) and told them there were other houses in the neighborhood that perhaps they would enjoy talking to more.
Than this one.

They left soon afterwards, sitting in their car for quite awhile (probably praying for Bear, since he's stuck with me) before leaving.
Surprisingly, they didn't stop at any other house within sight of ours.

But now they know that in this house lives both a talkative one and a sarcastic nasty one. And that combination seems to encourage groups like that one to try harder.

If there are any return visits, I shall consider Sam's way.

Sam was a friend of mine, working his way through college, putting himself through with a night bartending job. The school he went to was a big draw for the roaming religions, and every Friday morning, (after working a late shift Thursday night) Sam would be woken by the doorbell ringing. He tried politeness. He tried firmness. Finally, after one really late night where he'd gotten barely any sleep, he rolled out of bed (naked and semi-erect) flung open the door, and roared "I'm busy!" The two women there squeaked out sorries and ran away, leaflets fluttering to the ground behind them.

I guess they never came back...

Now I hope it doesn't come to that. I'm not at all sure I could get Bear to do that.

But it's tempting.

Friday, 16 February 2007

where did I leave those wings?

The toof is OUT! C is all 'cited and wants me to teach him how to spit water through the hole. (Thank you, PBS and Arthur the Aardvark!) The tooth fairy tiptoed in and left him a shiny toonie and four shiny quarters. I had no idea what the going rate was but figured that should just about cover it.

I was going to post a gory picture but really, unless you're a relative, why would you want to stare at my child's empty socket?

I do have a question, though, what on earth do you DO with the teeth? After the fairie de choppers does her work, what then?

I suppose I could look into this. Shudder. But I can't imagine I would EVER wear the ring.

Oh, this old thing? This is the cremated remains of all the kids baby teeth. Yes, and I wear them everyday. Want to try it on?

Thursday, 15 February 2007

when it rains it pours

It has been a FANTASTIC week, punctuated with losing (one of) my jobs! An in-law barely clinging to life! The girl deciding that potty-training is for lesser mortals! The boy morphing into the vicious Whine-monster! Lions and tigers and worried family members oh my!

Oh, and I hab a hed code.

Bear brought me Thera-Flu for Valentine's Day. LOVE that man. More every year. Mwah.

I'm off to take a long hot bath, once I get the renegade children to STAY IN YOUR BEDS ALREADY, DAMNIT.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

chiquita banana

We've been teaching R to say both her names.

Now I'm afraid she's going to run off in the grocery and they'll have to announce her name over the loudspeakers.

"Will the parents of Woseberry Transexsa please come to the front?"

The thought of future career days makes my head hurt.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

puffer fish

Well, last night was fun.

I popped off to the manse after supper and got a phone call from home about an hour later. Bear had taken his new meds for his back and blew up like a balloon. Itchy welty hive-y, and his lips were beginning to swell. His heart was racing, and his tongue felt thick.*

While I drove four gazillion miles an hour home, he called an ambulance.

He was almost unrecognizable when I came in. Puffy and bright red, the poor boy looked...well, he looked like the MCP from Tron.

Bear, not happy.

He ended up being taken to the hospital, where they dosed and re-dosed him with steroids and industrial-strength benedryl. Today he's home, zonked out of his mind on all the hospital meds and alternately going to bed or coming downstairs for a snack and falling asleep over his food. Twice now he's gone to sleep mid-sentence. It's kind of entertaining, actually.

He's okay. But NO MORE Celebrex for him, 'cause I can't take him looking like a CG animated character.

There's a lot more - another family member in the ER too! My kids running up and down the halls for hours with noisy toys, refusing to get tired even though it was four hours past their bedtime! Trying to get them back to sleep at three a.m.! But when I write it down, it seems a lot more serious and dreadful than it was.

I will say this, though - I married into a really nice family. The support and caring there is phenomenal.

*This wasn't a severe, heart-stopping - intubating - he can't breathe reaction (Thank God!) although he's had those before too. Just mighty scary and uncomfortable.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

the mayhem that wasn't

Yesterday I took both kids to the dentist.

Fully expecting howls from her and stubbornness from him, I wore shoes with good non-slip soles in case I had to do any chasing and prepared to do battle.

We arrived, they played with the toys there, and then the hygienist took Cass (Alone! He was so brave!) back so he could impress Dr. Kelly with his loose tooth. He went through the whole appointment by himself - even x-rays!

Rather blase about the whole thing, he was most impressed with the toy car he picked out of their treasure basket. So much for my mental pictures of trying to juggle Rosey while holding his grubby paw during his appointment. Things were looking up.

Rosey eyed the doctor with suspicion. Cass may have come out smiling, but what was this woman going to do? And why was she wearing gloves? Open her mouth? She thought NOT.

I wish I'd had my camera. Small stubborn girl lost in big chair looking on while four people (Dr. Kelly, the hygienist, Cass and I) said 'Say Ahhhhh! Rosey! Ahhh!' and demonstrated how to open wide. Obviously we were deranged. She settled in to wait until we regained our minds.

Kelly managed to get a finger in to check R's front teeth. When the taste of the gloves hit, she gaped open in an unsaid yuck! - and the dentist swooped in. A quick feel around, and she was satisfied. Rosey said a stiff 'bye' and climbed down. She was done. Where the hell was Daddy when a smallgirl wanted him?

The report on the kids teeth is excellent - Cass has lovely healthy teeth, and a few of them (not just the one!) are beginning to loosen. The dentist thinks the space between his front teeth will fill in as he gets his adult teeth. Rosey has all her molars in. I happily told Kelly that both liked brushing and got the obligatory toothbrushes, and then, just as I was leaving, she dropped the bomb.

"So do they floss?"

Shit. Well, might as well face it. "No, they don't."

"Do they watch you?"

"Floss? Um, no. I don't floss. Brush, yes. Swill mouthwash? Yes. Floss? No." I thought about adding that the last time I flossed, I ended up in the dentist's office having dental floss removed from my teeth, but surely that was in my records? But she was going on.

"It's important that they floss. Especially their back teeth, where kids tend to get cavities."

I mumbled something and fled.

Now, how the HELL do you floss a two year olds teeth??

I predict mayhem.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

just you and ....

I love my jobs because I get to talk to many different people.

Take today - it was just myself and a co-worker in the office today. He's older than I by a small bit (probably his late fifties) and a very nice man. His kids had just been home for a visit and the two youngest had been showing off his new car, driving him around, blasting him with their music. He was delighted with both the company and the deluge of college-kid.

He was telling me how he hadn't realized music lyrics these days were so fiercely female.
He liked some of it, though, and was quoting the last one he'd heard and liked.

"It has a great beat! And the singer - she talks about turning this guy down and leaving him alone with the band!"

I was relatively sure I hadn't heard that one. Of course, college music and me...well, safe to say I'm on the fringe. (Wince. I sound old.) came on the radio. Oh, I had heard this one!
Yup, bouncy beat. Yup, woman singer. Were the lyrics really about....oh, nooooo....

I tried to think of a kind and non-embarrassing way to tell him that the song title wasn't 'You and the Band Tonight' was 'You and Your Hand Tonight'.

Thank God he realized his mistake before I had to explain the song he liked was an ode to gutsy-girl telling a guy to go masturbate.

Yeah. I think we might leave the radio off the rest of today.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

boots can't help me now

Hola, mi querida.

Dora was thrilled to be out of the big storage bin - ah, the fresh air! Ah, this world of white!

But then.... What were they going to do? ¿Qué está sucediendo? - What is happening?

¡Hola! Mis amigos, necesitamos hablar... Dora tried again, realizing that her hard plastic lips weren't actually talking and that the screaming was all in her head.

But by then, it was too late. Whirling around the yard, steadily dizzier and her skin prickling from the unaccustomed cold, all Dora could think was...
Mierda. Espero que uno de ellos me consiga un suéter.*

*Shit. I hope one of them gets me a sweater.


I took about a hundred names off my facebook friend list tonight. Really, it went surprisingly quickly, with only a few 'who was this ag...